Hosting a workshop

Hosting a workshop

This article was originally written as guidance for workshop organisers during an open space meeting in October 2016.

This is a place where civil rights activists meet to discuss change. During our three days together, we have plenty of space for spontaneous sessions as well as for pre-organised ones. What happens in your session is up to you: a workshop, a lecture, networking, practical action… Here are a few […]

Practice Notes: The Workshop Book

Practice Notes: The Workshop Book

When I facilitate, I take notes. Lots of notes. I come with a set of notes, including the workshop design and process plans. I have checklists for the preparation of the venue. During the meeting, I jot down notes, names, observations. At the end of each day, I review the process, adjust the original design and rephrase questions. Over the years, quite a stack of these notes had assembled in […]

The art of marketing facilitation

The art of marketing facilitation

“Wow, this was the most effective meeting I’ve been to since I joined this organization!” My client enthused. “We should work with facilitation more often if we want to get things done.”

The benefits of working with a facilitator are obvious to those who have just experienced a well-facilitated session. But why is it that facilitators often struggle making the case to new and potential clients?

Safety and the Theatre

Safety and the Theatre

“Safety does not come first: Goodness, truth and beauty come first.”
– Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

I’ve used this quote for years to express my approach to life. Yet, spending time at the Applied Improvisation Network World Conference 2013, I find myself reflecting on my need for safety. I’m not alone with this: when I’m telling others that I’m playing improv, they often say “I would […]

Project: Powered by Nature

Project: Powered by Nature

2012-2013 | IUCN Commission on Education and Communication and Alcoa Foundation

Powered by Nature is an award programme for European communications students to co-create a social media campaign on energy and nature. The award winners participated in a 5-day retreat on 26-30 August in Starnmeer, the Netherlands during which they co-created the social media campaign Better in the Dark. 

A conversation is a conversation, even online

Yes, this was a first, and it was an experiment. A few weeks ago, the GIZ Leadership Lab attracted nearly thirty participants from all corners of the world. We had invited them to a co-creation session for a leadership approach for global sustainability – and we had invited them to join us from the comfort of their offices: online.

With five breakout sessions and three co-presenters, my task was […]

What’s in a name?

Since Saturday, one of the world’s oldest digital rights organizations is operating under a new name. FoeBuD e.V. is now Digitalcourage.

The need for a new name was obvious. The organisation was tired of being referred to as ‘data protection activists from Bielefeld’, of having to clarify spelling or pronunciation at every occasion, and generally of the dreaded question: “What does the name stand for?”

The correct answer had been a joke […]

Learning from master facilitators

“Let me know how it goes; I’ve been too chicken to try myself so far”, one of my mentors remarked after giving me feedback on my application to be certified as a Professional Facilitator (CPF). I was chicken, too, as I travelled to Geneva for the assessment day. “Please assume that the certification event will run from 8 AM until as late as 7 PM”, read the invitation. Intimidating […]

7 steps for better meetings

More often than not, you’ll find yourself in the situation where external facilitation is just not an option. Maybe there’s no budget, maybe there are political concerns or maybe there is simply no time to involve yet another person.

Still, your meetings are important, and you need to be sure that you get the best possible results. You and your participants have better things to do than sit in yet another […]